Woman Fired After Taking Day off to Grieve the Loss of Her Dog

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Anyone with a dog will know that they become part of the family. From the thumping of paws as they excitedly run to greet you when you return home, to relaxing evenings with your pup sprawled out on the couch next to you, they really are our best friends. And, when they pass away, it can be absolutely devasting.

Emma McNulty is a dog owner who recently felt the heartbreak of unexpectedly losing her beloved pooch, Millie.

As anyone would be, the eighteen-year-old was grief-ridden and opted to take a day off work on the grounds of compassionate leave. Completely understandable, right? Well, her boss didn’t think so, as she’s been fired for taking time off work.

She’s now taking a stand against employers who refuse to give staff bereavement leave for their pets.

Keep scrolling to read this heartbreaking tale, and to find out what the teen is doing to make a change for other dog owners.

Whether they’re causing mischief, giving us those puppy eyes when they want food, or taking up the whole sofa, many of us couldn’t live without our furry friends.  

Once you’re a dog parent, it’s hard to imagine a life without having a pooch to come home to.

The grief of losing our furry companions can feel the exact same as suffering a human loss.

And, sometimes, this can mean taking a day or 2 off work. That wouldn’t be totally unreasonable, right?

Eighteen-year-old, Emma McNulty, from Glasgow, was left distraught when her terrier, Millie, unexpectedly passed away.

After having her pup put down, the teen said that she felt physically sick with grief.

The teen described losing Millie like losing a member of the family. “Millie was fourteen and I am eighteen, so I don’t remember a time when she wasn’t part of my life. “We did everything together. I was so close to her and she was my best pal,” she explained to BBC News.

Understandably, Emma was left completely devastated, so she opted to take a day off work to come to terms with her loss.

Emma, who works part-time in a sandwich shop, contacted her boss following her dog’s death to ask for time off but was told that she would need to find someone to cover her shift or risk getting fired.

True to her employer’s words, the teen said that she was fired from her job via email (yep, pretty bad) after failing to find another member of staff to take over her shift. “I was sacked on the same day as I lost my dog. “I thought my employer would show a bit of compassion. Instead, I was told to find cover and that if I didn’t come in I would risk dismissal,” she explained. “When I told them I couldn’t find a replacement I was told not to show up for any other shifts and that the boss would be in touch.”

Just because Millie was a dog, it doesn’t make her death any less devastating for Emma.

The teen isn’t letting her experience get her down, instead, she’s speaking out against employers who are preventing pet owners from having compassionate leave.

She says that she’s started the petition in the hope that employers will begin to recognize pet loss in the same way as human bereavement.

Although it varies from employer to employer and there’s no law in place to entitle anyone to bereavement leave.

“I think it’s disgusting how some companies think it’s acceptable to treat someone in this way with no remorse, a family pet (in my case my dog) has just as much importance as a human family member,” she wrote on the petition page. “It’s time companies acknowledged this and give people the time they need to grieve with no worry of losing their job.”

At the time of writing, Emma’s petition has over twenty-thousand signatures, with many people sending messages of support to the teen.

The petition is now host to masses of comments, all in support of the campaign. Change.org user, Daniel Taylor, wrote: “Dogs are family. You should be allowed to grieve for them too,” while Geraldine Kennedy posted: “This is no different to losing a human family member. Our animals mean more to us than our human family and we should be allowed the same time to grieve their loss.”

Emma clearly isn’t alone, as many people posted about their own experiences with grieving the loss of their pets while coming into contact with less-than-sympathetic people. “I have been in the same situation. When my dog passed away I was so upset and the reaction I got is it’s just a dog. Well it’s not it’s part of your life and your family,” wrote one user.

“I recently lost my fur baby after fourteen years. Luckily I have an employer who understood. He too had to miss work when his own dog died,” explained one user. Looks like there are some understanding employers out there, but, clearly, more still needs to be done.

She might make a real difference to a lot of pet owners across the world. Speaking of doggos, we’ve recently noticed that there always seems to be people who take advantage of their unconditional loyalty and kindness. Viral footage has surfaced of a man getting instant karma after kicking a stray dog. Keep scrolling to watch the video and to see this guy get the comeuppance that he deserves.